Acoustic guitar with 2 pickups, but no internal mixer: what to do to make it mono?


I have a custom Taylor Dan Crary guitar which has two pickups installed. One goes to the left, one to the right stereo channel.

One pickup is for the strings, the other for the body sounds (ie. percussion).

The current owner used a Y-cable to split the stereo signal into a separate left and right mono output, then plugged each output into his mixer, and there he could decide how the signals would be mixed.

I'm a street busker traveling with minimal luggage, and I need to keep my gear as little as possible. I have two inputs on my little PA system, one for my microphone, the other one for my guitar. I don't want to carry around an additional mixer. So I need a way to mix those two signals together into a single mono channel.

I have no idea about acoustic engineering, but I think it should be possible somehow to build a simple adapter which has:

  • at one end a male 1/4" TRS stereo signal (to receive the two pickups' individual signals)
  • and then merges it into a 1/4" female TRS mono at the other end

Preferably, it would offer a little control dial/knob so I could manually choose the wanted ratio.

I have a friend who knows to solder audio cables and such, he just doesn't know a lot about guitar gear, so it would be great to get some advice from you guys.

Another way to go could be the installation of a small mixer into the guitar's body. I don't like the huge plastic elements and displays of many modern guitar mixers; in fact, the Taylor's unobtrusive three little knobs are most appealing to me (while the Dan Crary in question doesn't have any of these at all).

So maybe there is even a small mixer that allows for what I need which would only have a single knob on the outside of the guitar body (I don't care too much where it would be... possibly directly next to the stereo output)?

Any help is highly appreciated. Thanks a lot. Josua

Joshua Muheim

Posted 2021-02-10T15:27:12.150

Reputation: 111



You can wire a TRS at one end to link the tip & ring, then to a regular 'guitar jack' TS at the other.

This is basically how a Rickenbacker stereo sums to the mono jack.

Lifted from Cadfael's collection of wiring diagrams (Google translate link to English)

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Posted 2021-02-10T15:27:12.150

Reputation: 5 764